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Left union students protest against SSC corruption, HC to hear case after 3 weeks

 
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Ashok Chatterjee

Kolkata: Left-wing students union members from the DYFI (Democratic Youth Federation of India) and SFI (Students Federation of India) protested in front of the West Bengal School Service Commission office in Salt Lake, on Wednesday alleging corruption in the recruitment of Group-D or Class IV staff to schools through the Commission (SSC).

The protesting students, numbering close to 100, planned their march from Karunamoyee crossing to Acharya Sadan, the of SSC office in Salt Lake, a distance of a few hundred years but were stopped by the police right at the starting point.  They said they were planning to meet the SSC chairman and him over a deputation on the illegal appointments.

Just as the students had started their march, the police, which had made a makeshift barricade with rope, stopped them. When the leftists tried to break through the barricades, a scuffle broke out. The Left students and youths alleged that their female supporters were manhandled by male policemen in the absence of female police personnel.

The students, who struggled with the police personnel at the spot, said the police have been acting as the agents of the corrupt state officials and guarding their interests. The protestors demanded that all the corrupt officials should resign along with the education minister. Later, the police forcibly lifted and carted the protestors into buses and took them away.

DYFI’s Minakshi Mukherjee, who contested on a CPI(M) ticket from Nandigram in the assembly polls and part of the protest, said, “Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has cheated the parents of all the deserving but yet unemployed youth, as they invested their money in educating their children and then applied for jobs in SSC. We demand clean and transparent appointments in the commission.

Srijan Bhattacharyya of SFI, who was also one of the protesters, said, “The police have physically assaulted our women members and we want a public apology from them. We came here for a peaceful protest but the cops used force on us. In democracy we have the right to protest but it seems in Bengal you cannot.”

Incidentally, a single bench of the Calcutta High Court had directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the recruitment of Group-D staff. Last Monday, Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay directed to hand over all the relevant documents to the CBI.

The State, SSC and Board of Secondary Education went to the division bench challenging that directive.

A division bench of Justice Harish Tandon and Justice Rabindranath Samantar on Wednesday said a more detailed hearing was needed and put on hold the earlier instruction for three weeks. Now, the SSC and the Board of Secondary Education will have to submit all the information to the court in a sealed envelope.